DECEMBER 1, 2022

Boy with a Box Full of Wasps

Sweet nothings,

whispered under breath,

melt ears

like sonnets scribbled on paper

ripped from hornets’ nests

hanging from the trees.


blown in the wind—

cold paralysis riding the breeze—

land their marks,


to sticking places (and jugulars)

like dark spells

or opiate darts.

How dubious this love,

like wildflowers in December

or a box full of wasps,

tied with ribbon--pink and satin--

like lips

that sting,

drunk on wine

from slices of green plum,

fermenting in the noon sun.

Ghosts in the garden

are we,

haunting the thorns

of rose bushes

and this poisoned well,

where wishes wither

and perish

at the touch of cold, liquid skin.

I love you?

I love you not?

Who’s the scare?

Who’s the crow?


at the foot of the gate

blush, fiery, at conundrums

and the sticky-sweet of roseblood

on fingertips

and minds,


for the next turn of the screw.

David Estringel is a Xicanx writer/poet with works published in literary publications, such as The Opiate, Azahares, Cephalorpress, Lahar, Poetry Ni, DREICH, Somos En Escrito, Ethel, The Milk House, Beir Bua Journal, and The Blue Nib. His first collection of poetry and short fiction Indelible Fingerprints was published April 2019, followed Blood Honey and Cold Comfort House in 2022. David has written five poetry chapbooks, Punctures(2019), PeripherieS (2020), Eating Pears on the Rooftop (2022), as well as Golden Calves and Blue (coming 2023). His new book of micro poetry little punctures will be released in December 2022. Connect with David on Twitter @The_Booky_Man and his website www.davidaestringel.com.